[Anime Review]: Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

Mirai Nikki

Director: Naoto Hosoda

Writer (of original manga): Sakae Esuno

Animation Studios: Asread

Version Watched: Subbed

[Note: Mirai Nikki is almost definitely for mature audiences only. You have been warned.]

It’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded and you’re fielding. You’ve played a fantastic game, but so has the other team, and it comes down to this final throw. The pitcher winds up, the bat swings and the ball is flying towards Mirai Nikki. You’re ecstatic, you’ve won! You prepare to congratulate the team’s new anime but…then, to everyone’s horror, Mirai Nikki drops the ball. Then it proceeds to trip while trying to retrieve it before pitifully attempting to crawl toward the fallen ball long after the crowd has gone home. Got it? Let’s move on.

The Future Diaries. Items with the ability to predict aspects of the future based on their owners’ characteristics, irreversibly linked to their lives. What better way to choose a new God? Amano Yukiteru is the recipient of one such artefact, with his classmate Gasai Yuno gaining possession of another. They are but two of twelve involved in battle royale to the death, with the winner being granted ultimate power over time and space. For Yuno, this couldn’t be more perfect. Though he doesn’t know it, and though they’ve only talked a handful of times, she loves Yukiteru with every fibre of her being. She adores him. She idolizes him. She lives for him. She would die for him…and she will KILL anyone who dares to get in the way of her feelings. All for her beloved Yuuki, of course.

Mirai Nikki

That intro was probably a little harsh, though the part about the fantastic start isn’t exaggerated. Mirai Nikki plays a great early game that’s a lot of fun to watch.  It’s got mystery, action and…romance? In massively satisfying amounts that keep you wanting to know more. Add onto that some visceral and gory sequences that you can’t help but sit up and pay attention to, and you get an experience that won’t soon fade from your mind. For three quarters of its length, the show is well worth your time and easily earns a recommendation from The Geek Clinic. The question, then, is whether the remaining portion is up to scratch. The answer starts with a firm “No” before continuing on to say that you should probably still watch it and the epilogue OVA for the closure they provide. It’s always disappointing when a story as entertaining as Mirai Nikki’s ends poorly but, to my view at least, that doesn’t make the better moments any less deserving of your viewership. This is an anime that I was sad to say goodbye to despite its flaws, which should say something about how much I enjoyed it.

To anyone that’s heard of Mirai Nikki before, it’s well known that the series’ major defining factor is its yandere (or insane-with-love) heroine, Yuno. You just don’t see that character archetype in the spotlight often, making the show as a whole relatively unique. The shift between Yuno as a slightly-overbearing love interest and a deadly psychopath is handled very well in this case, with the fact that her normal self was ever-so-slightly off anyway just adding to her…charm? I’m not sure how comfortable I am giving her that attribute. What about the other characters, then? One could be forgiven for saying that Yuno eclipses them and that they come across as generic. I would argue, however, that they fill their roles well in the context of the story, so that complaint becomes a non-issue for me. The protagonist, however, is a character I could really get behind. He’s whiny, he’s pathetic and he desperately wants someone to call a friend, which meshes perfectly with the flagship role. He also undergoes some developments which make perfect sense in Mirai Nikki but haven’t been done so well in other series, so I have to give him credit for that, too. As a final note, the other future diary owners all have their own interesting thing going for them as well, so it’s really only a minority of characters that could be called uninteresting or stereotypical.

Mirai Nikk1

If you’ve seen Deadman Wonderland, Mirai Nikki looks very similar. The art ranges from very nicely done most of the time to a noticeably poorer quality in some of the later episodes. The animation itself does a great job of reminding you just how unhinged some of the characters, and the story itself, are, while at the same time making for good watching in general. I do have to complain that fan service is something of a problem in parts, despite being used to good effect in others (read: appropriate in the context of the story); it’s not abundant or anything but it may make some viewers uncomfortable. As usual, both voice acting and BGM were suitable without being particularly spectacular.

Summary – For those that think they like the idea of a crazy, knife-wielding girlfriend taking part in a future-diary-fuelled fight to the death, Mirai Nikki is a must-watch. Its ending may be on the weak side compared to the rest of the show but that’s no reason not experience all of its good bits which, due to some great animation and interesting characters, are incredibly entertaining. Even if the concept doesn’t immediately jump out at you, I’d recommend giving Mirai Nikki a go because of how few other series out there are like it. Who knows, you might discover a new niche you’re interested in.

Score: 8.5/10 – Good

 Mirai Nikki2

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About Silvachief

I'm a Gamer that dabbles in a little bit of everything. I'm big on Video Games, Visual Novels, Anime, Books and TV Series, but there's more to me than just those!
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18 Responses to [Anime Review]: Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

  1. Lazarinth says:

    That starting analogy felt spot on, the premise promises so much but by the end you’re like “please stop, you need to… oh, damn it, come on!”

  2. Kai says:

    Mirai Nikki was fun and exciting to watch during the survival game moments, but not as much when it’s trying to conclude everything, lol. At least most of the characters have a sort of closure so that’s good. Also, Yuno definitely stole the show :p

  3. > higurashi 6/10
    > mirai nikki 8.5/10
    topkek

    • Silvachief says:

      While the VN and anime scales are different, I can’t deny that I enjoyed my time with Mirai Nikki a great deal more than Higurashi >.>

      • fire says:

        @Mohammed Benabdalla
        Ryuukishi’s shit is extremely polarizing, you can’t deny that – I myself dropped Umineko, because it was simply too repetitive. Inherently-repetitive plots (time travel; recursion plots) are by their nature hard to write, and though it’s possible to pull them off beautifully (Madoka; Hakomari; Muv Luv Alt), more often you’ll fuck up – which in my opinion Ryuukishi did.

        @silvachief
        I read the manga for Mirai Nikki quite some time ago, and remember it to be generally excellent – it manages to carry out the yandere girlfriend trope seriously, when the nature of the trope is such that it’s easy to screw up. The ending, though… Evangelion levels of wut.

        Are there any VNs that you’re planning to read?

        P.S. I have reverted to obsessively checking TLWiki for SubaHibi updates everyday, as I did for Comyu last year. Just a few more translation percentages to the promised land of yuri-Wittgenstein.

        • Silvachief says:

          Since you mentioned Hakomari, I actually started reading it yesterday while bored in class. It has kept my attention longer than most LNs but has yet to grip me, and i’m not sure whether that’s because LNs aren’t my thing or I was reading on my cellphone…this is why I need hard copies!

          As far as i’ve heard the anime adapts the manga pretty faithfully, do you have an opinion on that? You’re right, though, considering the subject matter the show does a good job right up until the very end. Speak of the devil; I started watching Evangelion last night.

          For VNs i’m planning to read…i’ve been holding off lately in anticipation of a 5 week placement coming up, so my return to VNs will probably occur then. I’m looking at Narcissu to begin with followed by…well, actually, i’m not sure. I have a lot of VNs sitting around but I don’t have a desire to play any particular one (and it doesn’t look like SubaHibi will be out before I go T_T). Suggestions?

          • fire says:

            I think Hakomari Volume 1 is actually pretty confusing – requiring effort and thought to keep track of the different dates. I don’t think you can fully appreciate it otherwise, and in my opinion, it’s not suited for light reading.

            I didn’t actually watch the anime for Mirai Nikki – wouldn’t be much of a point, since I already know the story from the manga

            Narcissu is a good choice. Perhaps Hanachirasu? It’s pretty short, and quite brilliant.

            Regarding Suba Hibi – actually, you being on placement shouldn’t interfere with your ability to read it, weak internet or not? Presumably, you’ll have your laptop with you? Just make sure to download and install the raw from sukebei.nyaa.se ([link removed]) before leaving, and then when TLWiki comes out with the patch (which shouldn’t be more than 10mb or so), you can just download and apply it.

            • Silvachief says:

              Whereabouts do you think I should get to before deciding whether I really want to continue for Hakomari?

              Ack, Nitroplus?! Well, I asked for a recommendation so I suppose I could give it a go.

              Thanks for the suggestion (I removed the link though, don’t want to violate any rules i’m not aware of (or that I am aware of, I guess XD)), I was worried because i’m only going to have 4gb of internet over 5 weeks but that fixes my problem right up. So! Current plan is Narcissu and Hanachirasu followed by SubaHibi once it has been released.

              • fire says:

                I think you should make the effort for Hakomari – it’s not for nothing that its MAL scores are so insanely high. I would say that you should at least try to reach Volume 3 – Volume 1 is confusing, Volume 2 is probably the weakest in the series, but Volume 3 is undisputedly exciting.

                Heh, I guess you didn’t fare too well with Nitroplus’s stuff? Fair enough, but it’s a big company, with different writers – Urobuchi did Saya no Uta, the sci-fi group did Steins;Gate and Chaos;fucking;head, Hagenaya Jin did Demonbane and Dra+Koi, while Narahara Ittetsu did Hanachirasu and Muramasa. So it’s always possible to dislike some of Nitroplus’s stuff without necessarily also disliking the rest.

                Narcissu is a great choice – moving and intense and very powerful portrayal of love and death and the meaning of life. As you can guess, the story involves a significant amount of being in hospitals, so I’m sure you’ll be right at home 🙂 But don’t read it around your patients – . –

              • Kai says:

                Didn’t know you guys were discussing about Hakomari so I’ll just chime in sneakily like the sneaky rat that I’m :p Anyway, yea, you should try reading until Volume 3-4 (it’s one arc) and see if you like it. I personally love Volume 1, and if I were you, I would also try to finish that one volume first to see if you like it. After Volume 4, 5-6 (also another arc) is awesome :p Also the overarching storyline developed a lot by then, which makes sense I guess, since I think I heard somewhere the author decided to end this by Volume 7.

                • Silvachief says:

                  Yep, volume 7 is the final one. I’ve read volume 5 now and…while part of it could just be the light novel format i’m not seeing the quality most people describe. It’s really disappointing >.<

  4. Winny says:

    You know there’s an OVA which is supposed to tie, I suppose, the ‘loose knots’ together. I didn’t really find it that great (mostly because I watched the OVA half a year after I finished the main show), but I’d recommend you watch it if you want to get a better ending. And by better I mean happy, lol.

    Great review by the way!

  5. Winny says:

    Okay never mind I didn’t see that you watched the OVA (T-T)

    • Silvachief says:

      No problem, i’m glad you enjoyed the review! I agree with you; the OVA itself isn’t fantastic but it’s valuable in that it provides closure for the main series.

  6. I have watched half of the series recently. Time to brace myself for the disappointing finale I guess.

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